Another effective vaccine delivery system might be right under our nose!
Currently, the only approved vaccines against the SARS-CoV-2 virus are administered via intramuscular injection. However, trials studying an intranasal route of administration are well underway in the US, China and the UK and researchers are expecting impressive results. Did you know an intranasal version of the COVID-19 vaccine could present a number of advantages over the intramuscular counterpart? This vaccine could provide an opportunity for increased uptake in needle-phobic individuals and more rapid immunity than the intramuscular option.
Injecting the vaccine directly into the nasal passages elicits a rapid and local immune response in the mucosal tissue of your respiratory system, including the lining of your nose, mouth, and lungs. Equipping these tissues with the ability to fight COVID-19 means we can neutralize the initial infection at the source, before it spreads to the rest of our body and to other people. In contrast, intramuscular vaccines trigger an immune response at the lymph node closest to the injection site — the antibodies generated never make it to the mucosal tissues.
An intranasal route of administration could lead to more rapid, localized immunity, but experts still agree the intramuscular option provides longer lasting, systemic protection. For this reason, the best solution may be to receive both types of vaccination!